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Got My Kindle — Prefect for Those Freaking Brownouts in the Philippines

If you’re living in the Philippines, brownouts are a fact of life for many of us. Some areas are having fewer troubles with it. Anyone that has followed my blogging about the Philippines knows that the frequent power failures are my only real complaint.

During one brownout about six weeks ago, I decided I had had enough. I had wanted to buy an Amazon Kindle since the day they came out. The first time I learned of them, was shortly after arriving in the Philippines. They were $300 back then and I decided not to buy one because of the price.  If I’m going to be living in the Philippines during brownouts, I might as well make them less stressful.

With the price falling to about $180 for the 3G model it has been harder to pass up buying Kindle.

May is coming, a month notorious for those of us living in the Philippines for an increased number of brownouts.  It is hot here in May.

So, I finally did it. I noticed they have a ton of free books for the Kindle. Most of the classics can be obtained for free. Just a click and it downloads to my Kindle. Yes, I can download free books to my Kindle 3G even while living in the Philippines!

I’m finishing up with Thomas Paine’s important document in American history “Common Sense.” It has been an interesting read. I have hundreds of books on my Kindle already and I’ve had it about a week and you can get these free books even while living in the Philippines.

Learn About Living in the Philippines with Your Kindle

There are a lot of free books about the Philippines too! Many authoritative books on the history of the Philippines can be downloaded onto the Kindle for free. I look forward to getting into those. I hope they are not too dry of a read to enjoy as I want to know more about living in the Philippines.

I’ve got a lot of books from Mark Twain and other American writers. I couldn’t find anything from Faulkner and I’d like to have another go at some of his works.   They are hard for me to understand.

If it is a classic, the book is probably on Amazon for free. There are also a lot of websites out there dedicated to converting public domain books to the Kindle format.

Getting a Kindle While Living in the Philippines

My main reason for getting it was to give me something to do during the brownouts. If you’re thinking of living in the Philippines bring one with you!  You can buy a Kindle through this link.

If you are already living in the Philippines, you can get a Kindle but you’ll have to have it shipped to an address in your home country. Then have it shipped to the Philippines.

If you live in the USA I recommend Johnny Air Cargo and have some contact information for you.  You can email Jesusa Pilapil  at jessep_johnnyair@yahoo.com and tell her you wish to mail a package to the Philippines from the USA.

A Review of the Amazon Kindle

I like the Kindle.  I’m glad I have it but there are some things I don’t like about it too. I got the graphic colored one. I would get the white one unless you’re eyes are still great. The letters on the keyboard are hard to see for my old diabetic laced eyes.

The screen is a little dark to me. I think Amazon did this on purpose. They wanted to make it so that the glare of the sun will not make it impossible to read.  Mostly though, this was mildly disturbing at first because I was not use too.

After an hour of reading, I’m totally use to a background that is not bright white now and it doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, it is very easy on the eyes.

It can’t be used in the dark though. You need a light to read a book on the Kindle. It has no backlight and that too is by design. To make it light weight and keep the batteries running forever.

The Kindle is rated to run for a month without a charge if you turn off the Wi-Fi. That is impressive!  With Wi-Fi, I think it is rated to run for 10 days without a charge!

Amazon sells cases for the Kindle.  Some of them come with a light on them. Now I know why that is a good idea. I didn’t get one of those; I bought a cheaper case just to protect the Kindle when it is not in use. They cost $60 and that is why I didn’t get one. However, it is now on my wish list.

I got the 3G version because I might want to buy a book while the electricity is off. It is nice to have 3G but adds $50 to the cost. You can also use the 3G to send yourself documents and read blogs but there is a fee of about $5 a week for that if you’re living in the Philippines.  So, I did not activate that service.

When I lived in the USA spending $20 a month for a service like that, now though?  I can’t do it since I started living in the Philippines. That is P840 even at today’s horrible exchange rate. I can go out to eat two and a half times for that! This service is called Whispernet and is free if you are within the USA.

Still, it would be nice to access some content that I cannot get because I have not activated that. It is entirely optional.
There is also a fee for transferring documents to you via the 3G. Amazon gives you an email address for the Kindle and anyone that has it can send a document to you. They let you setup a max cost per transfer though to prevent someone causing you to have a huge bill. I’m unsure if you have to have the international Whispernet option activated to use that.

If someone needed to send you a PDF document though while you were relaxing on a beach, this would be nice to have. I don’t even know what my Kindle email address is.  I don’t plan to use it. Since I have been living in the Philippines, I’ve become a bit of a penny pincher.

Amazon says their goal is to make the kindle disappear into your hands. The hope is that you will forget you are holding a Kindle and will concentrate on the book. That is close to my reality with the device.

It is very easy to use, very easy to read a Kindle formatted document. You can change the font size which makes it easy to read books without my glasses on. However, you can’t enlarge the menus and they are hard for me to see in dim light.

While you can read PDF documents on the device, you probably will not wish too. You can’t enlarge the font and the page navigation that you will have with a Kindle formatted book is not the same. I don’t like reading PDF documents on my computer and I like it about the same on my Kindle.

When you enlarge the font, there are fewer words on the page and at first that disturbed me. Soon though it did not, in fact, Amazon says that for many this improves their reading comprehension and I found that it does for me.

Basic Expat Training Manual On The Kindle

I have converted my eBook to Kindle format. I saw errors that I have never seen before. And I was amused that I had trouble putting it down.  I wrote the thing and I know what it says but honestly, I found it a very interesting read! I have seen it some much in Open Office that it bores me to read it again. That is not so on the Kindle. I don’t know how to explain that.

Yes, it is likely there will be a Kindle version off my Basic Expat Training Manual — The Philippines Experience coming soon on Kindle. I’m working on that. If you’re thinking of living in the Philippines, you should think hard about getting my manual. I really think it will be helpful to you!

I’m really glad I finally splurged on myself a bit and bought the Kindle. I need to spend less time on the computer. I’ve been working too much lately and making myself a bit tense.

If you’d like to learn more or buy the Kindle you click this link to find out more! It would make living in the Philippines a bit more enjoyable as books can be hard to obtain and they are actually more expensive here because of a special tax on books.

I know that living in the Philippines during a brownout will irritate me less now that I have a Kindle.

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Filed under: Living In The Philippines

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